Inspiration in a Haunted Basement

Recently, our group met with a local homeowner who lives in a house that is reported to be haunted.  I’m not sure why private residence investigations fascinate me so much, but they do.  It could be because I feel like we’re setting out on uncharted waters (so to speak).  Haunted historic locations are WAY cool, but for the most part, they’ve been probed and digitally recorded so many times, the mystery isn’t as…well, mysterious as it once was.  But to go into someone’s home and seek out evidence to either explain the logical source of their experiences or validate that they are not totally loony-tunes (because you also saw that shadow figure walking through the hallway that they’ve been seeing – either it’s really there or you’re both nuts), is a little extra cool in my book.

Our group is excited for the opportunity to perform a full investigation at this site.  The owner is restoring the historic home known as The Manor which is located in St. Paul and serves as a local bed and breakfast.  Unfortunately, we had to schedule it out a few months.  However, this particular homeowner is also an artist, and a heck of a nice guy, so he offered to let us come chill at his manor house anytime we felt like we wanted creepy inspiration.   ANYTIME.  That’s what he said!  So this past Saturday, my fellow G.S.I. member, Scott Spinks, and I took him up on his offer.

You might think it’s weird to contact someone and say, “Hey, would you mind if my friend and I came over to sit in your dark, creepy basement and write for a few hours?”  Well, it’s NOT weird!  Everyone does it!!  Okay, they don’t, but whatever!  They totally should because there’s no better way to write something eerie than to set up your laptop on a workbench, sit your behind on a wobbly chair, wipe the dust and cobwebs away from your “workspace” and let the crumbling walls around you fill you with inspiration.

The steps leading out of the basement we spend the evening writing in.

The steps leading out of the basement we spent the evening writing in.

So we recorded a brief bit of footage for the documentary our team is working on, set up a digital voice recorder just in case any of the resident spirits wanted to give us a shout-out from the other side, and got writing.  We actually got a lot done.

The door leading out of the basement.  You've got to love these walls.

The door leading out of the basement. You’ve got to love these walls

Sure, we could write at a library and probably get as much accomplished.  But why settle for a well-lit, sterile, meeting room when you could be shivering in a basement with a dark history (there are rumors of the police breaking up some kind of torture chamber in the 80s).  This is method writing at its finest, and it’s my favorite way to work!

One day, I’m sure I’ll decide to write something light and cheerful, and you’ll see me lying in a field of daisies tapping at my keyboard.  But for now, I’ll be hiding away in the basement of The Manor writing stuff that makes ya’ jump.

Nail in the coffin ~

🙂  Jessica

(Click here to visit THE MANOR’s Facebook page)

(Click here to visit GHOST STORIE, INC’s Facebook page)

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